Chicagoans invited to shape the future of city’s rivers at Great Rivers Chicago public open houses Oct. 1, 8 and 28 and Nov. 4

September 24, 2015 , By MPC Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth

Led by the City of Chicago and Metropolitan Planning Council, in partnership with Friends of the Chicago River, Great Rivers Chicago developing vision, action agenda for Chicago’s three rivers

(Chicago) … Chicagoans across the city are invited to attend one of four public open houses to help shape the future of the city’s three rivers by providing input to Great Rivers Chicago, led by the City of Chicago and Metropolitan Planning Council in partnership with Friends of the Chicago River.

Working with the public, Great Rivers Chicago is developing a coordinated long-term vision and action agenda for the rivers and riverfronts within the city’s limits—the Calumet, Chicago and Des Plaines. Each of the fall open houses will focus on a particular reach of the rivers system—far north, near north, far south and near south. Chicagoans across the city are encouraged to come out to discuss issues and provide ideas for each of these stretches. The meetings will include a number of ways for people to learn more and get involved, whether they have 20 minutes or 90 minutes, including presentations, discussion, text polling and interactive mapping.

Great Rivers Chicago surveyed Chicagoans between March and June 2015 to gain a preliminary understanding of people’s interest in and connection to the city’s rivers, as well as their hopes for the future of the rivers. Of the 3,749 people who took the survey, half live and 62 percent work within a mile of one of Chicago’s rivers. About 52 percent interact daily or weekly with one of Chicago’s rivers. Depending on which part of the rivers system respondents were referring to, some 73 to 91 percent said they would like better access to the river. Finally, Chicagoans have high expectations for our rivers: The top five words people would like to associate with our rivers in the future are “clean,” “active,” “easy to get to,” “parks” and “exercise.”

Great Rivers Chicago is funded by grants from the Joyce Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust and ArcelorMittal. For more information, visit

Meeting details and registration:

Thursday, Oct. 1 (Far North Side)
Horner Park Field House
2741 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago

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Thursday, Oct. 8 (Far South Side)
Rowan Park Field House
11546 S. Avenue L, Chicago

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Wednesday, Oct. 28 (Near South Side)
Ping Tom Park Field House
1700 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago

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Wednesday, Nov. 4 (Near North Side)
REI Community Room
1466 N. Halsted St., Chicago

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